by Norm Miller
CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMCNews)—" How can you be a servant leader through this academic year?"
Truett-McConnell College's athletics director, Dr. Stacy Hall, asked the question at the school's annual faculty/staff orientation, August 13.
"Leadership is influencing others, and spiritual leadership is servant leadership," said Hall, noting that he recently read, and was drawing from the book, "Spiritual Leadership" by J. Oswald Chambers.
Quoting Jesus from Mark 10, Hall said, "... whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all."
TMC personnel must "put more into life than we take out," he said, "because we all are spiritual leaders with opportunities to serve others, especially our students. God has entrusted us to create a new generation of servant leaders. The spirit of the welfare state does not produce leaders. "
Hall cautioned that students "watch our actions and listen to our speech. They are watchingno matter what our roles, and our actions speak loudly. We must be model Christian leaders," he advised.
Citing 1 Cor. 9.24-25, Hall said the passage is his "favorite, and I am very passionate about it. 'Do you not know that in a race, all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.'"
"I take that verse to heart," Hall said. "The point is not to hoist a trophy that will fade or break, or end up in a glass showcase" but to use "God given talents and abilities to maximize and develop strengths and achieve goals -- not for personal gain, but to please God."
Successfully running the race requires more than "showing up," Hall said. "Simply showing up does not honor God. That is not what he called us to do or created us to do. God has called us to win, to push each other, to hold each other accountable."
Hall quoted Sanders' book to emphasize the cost of running the way God intends: "Fatigue is the price of leadership. Mediocrity is the result of never getting tired."
"I want to talk about winning championships," Hall continued. "I'm not just talking about athletic performance, but about winning championships in life."
Hall dipped into his athletic director's philosophy and convictions to say, "We want to lead and serve our students so they can be enabled to win championships in discipleship, championships in academics, championships in serving others, and championships in athletic performance."
To this end, Hall said all TMC coaches would soon receive training in spiritual leadership from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Hall read Matthew 28.19-20: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age"
"The Great Commission is our race," he said. "We know that, but do we live each day with a sense of urgency, passion and vigor? We need this attitude in our jobs so we can run the race to win, and not only to participate."
Noting the apostle Paul said (2 Tim. 4.6-8) he had run the race, fought the good fight and was poured out like a drink offering, Hall said, "My prayer for you this morning is that you fight the good fight, and run the race, while holding each other accountable."
"I encourage you to inspire our young people in this; let's inspire them to greatness," he said.
"What does success look like for your department? Hall asked. "Get on your knees and find out."